Alder’s ‘Mary Poppins’ will be magical

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Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Playing lead roles in Jonathan Alder High School’s upcoming production of the musical, “Mary Poppins,” are: (on the rooftop) Hunter Eudaily as Bert and Hunter Larison as Poppins; (front) Lincoln Wilson as Michael and Emily Wheelbarger as Jane, the children of Winifred and George Banks, played by Sydney Winslow and Grayson Abend, respectively.

(Posted March 31, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The love Jonathan Alder’s drama students have for their upcoming production of “Mary Poppins” is sweeter than a spoonful of sugar.

Senior Hunter Eudaily, who plays Bert, can’t say enough about his castmates. He describes one as having “a voice of gold” and another as a “terrific dancer.” He describes Scott Jones, the choreographer, as “out of this world” and praises director Anne Gorman for putting her faith in students of all ages to perform well, from a third-grader acting as one of Nanny Poppins’ charges to a freshman who serves as a dance captain and a sophomore playing the title character.

That sophomore is Hunter Larison who, like Eudaily, is playing a lead role for the first time. Both are exhilarated by the challenge and the camaraderie among cast members.

“There are a lot more props to keep track of,” Larison said of playing Mary Poppins. “I have to keep track of my spoons, my carpetbag and everything I pull out of it, my umbrella, all of my costumes.”

Not to mention, she also flies during the show, one of many special effects she and Eudaily say will wow the audience.

“We can’t divulge anymore, but I will say that every time I get on stage, it just astounds me,” Eudaily said.

Both actors have enjoyed bonding with everyone in the cast and crew, from the youngsters to their classmates.

“We’re all really great friends,” Larison said.

“There’s just a good family aspect,” Eudaily added.

Gorman said she chose to stage “Mary Poppins” for two main reasons. The first is that it’s a great show, she said, with many familiar and beloved songs, including “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and, of course, “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

The second reason, she said, is “because I felt like we would have a great cast to rise to the occasion.”

The nearly two dozen students who play chimney sweeps in the show all learned how to tap dance. The stage crew has mastered moving many large set pieces in and out of place, including a full-size parlor and a set representing the rooftops of London.

When asked why people should come see the show, Larison said, “There is something for everyone—action, romance, magic. I get goosebumps just listening to the music.”

Show times include a dinner theater on April 6. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. followed by the show at 7:30. Tickets are $25. Other shows include: April 7-8 at 7:30 p.m., $12 for adults and $8 for children 10 and younger and senior citizens 65 and older. The April 9 show is a matinee at 3 p.m.; all tickets are $8. For tickets and more information, call the high school at (614) 873-4642.

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